This article was written primarily for teen girls who were raped or abused sometime in the past. While not a cure-all sure-fix, the following information provides thoughts and ideas for victims and their boyfriends to help deal with the emotions and trauma of the past. If you are a girl/woman who has been raped or abused; if you are a boy/man who is in a relationship or contemplating beginning a relationship, you are invited to read the suggestions and ideas that follow.
First, does your boyfriend/husband really get the seriousness of the emotional damage that was done to you by the rapist or abuser? I doubt it, because he has not lived it, and is a male who can often just get on with things that he was not involved with personally.
I have done a lot of reading on the matter and thought I knew how to handle a person's feelings and could understand what a woman was having to live with, but, I did not--not until I felt truly violated in another way when my first wife left and had a male friend enter the house with her and help move her out. I was out that evening and upon returning home found the house disturbed and her belongings gone. I learned later who had helped her; I felt very violated, also experiencing a loss of control by this man being in my home, even though my wife had invited him. It took a couple of years to get over the feeling.
Second, have a heart to heart talk with your boyfriend or husband and share your emotions and concerns with him. You do not have to share the actual details, just what is swarming around in your head after the fact.
Third, ask for and enlist his help and support and tell him what you need from him. He is not a mind reader. (Guys need the dots spaced very close together as well as being connected!)
Fourth, you must know and understand that the rape was not your fault. It is never a woman's fault. This was a personal attack that was perpetrated upon you by one or more controlling individuals. The act of rape is rarely a sexual experience, it is instead motivated by and one of control and power.
Logically, you have to know that not all men are like this one bad guy or guys. That said, you then have to believe that, unless and until your man or any other man gives indications of behaving any other way than honorable and respectful, you can and should trust him. Although trust is earned, in order to initiate trust in the beginning, each of us must give a little to the other person sufficient to get the relationship started and off the ground. That done, the rest is earned through the behavior, deeds, and, accomplishments we give to each other.
It is counter productive to have the attitude that because the rapist proved to be bad, all guys therefore must be suspect. (How often have you heard a woman declare: "I don't trust any man?") This is saying in essence that I will trust you only if you successfully meet the following conditions (A, B, C, etc.), first. More often than not, what happens next is that whether he fails to meet one or more of those expectations or not, you will continually test him to see if he will eventually fail. The result is relationship stagnation.
Fifth, as your relationship gets underway and in order for it to develop, do not make sex or intercourse your goal or objective.
Make intimacy the objective. Learn to cultivate intimacy by spending lots of time hugging, snuggling, kissing, whispering sweet nothings; and, maybe even just talking about stuff that isn't all too important.
Sixth, please read the articles listed in the Index by all authors regarding dating and relationships. Follow these up with the information on fooling around and making out. Do this individually or together. Discuss what you have learned.
CONNECTING WITH YOUR PARTNER--
Keep your relationship at the Necking or Petting stage for as long as you desire. Do not be in a rush to finish with intercourse. You can, when the time is right, finish with hand and/or oral stimulation and achieve much more intense orgasms. (Think months not weeks, and certainly not days! with regard to Necking and Petting, before moving on to Foreplay and later, intercourse.)**
Seventh, discuss the information learned from reading the many articles and how you can implement the how-to's into your own relationship.
Eighth, understand that great relationships are formed not by what we take in order to get; rather, by what we give each other in order to receive. Do not hesitate to trust your boyfriend. Give him the benefit of the doubt, your initial level of trust, and proceed from there. If he is worthy, he won't disappoint in a major way, although he could in small irritating ways as he grows, learns, and, matures.
Ninth, make your next move only when you are ready. (As an aside to this, read the articles that discuss "Implied Consent" and "Boundaries", just to help keep the "ball" rolling yet under control.)
** FELLAS: It is extremely important that you know and understand the physical and emotional damage that has occurred. Never trivialize or discount the damage done to body and psyche. Implied Consent gives you the tool to proceed with your level of familiarity and intimacy; although, this does not mean you can nor should go to the next boundary full speed ahead. What I mean by this is to take your time exploring and moving to the next level. Think slowly and in half-inch steps, particularly when in the area of the vulva and breasts. Give her as much time as she requires in order to become comfortable with your fingers or lips on these areas. You do not have to move hesitantly. Slowly over time is what is often called for. Do not make a rush for the finish line. Sneak up on it all the while letting her get used to what you are doing that is much different than what was done to her. If this requires dallying in one place for several seconds or minutes, so be it. What you are helping her do is replace the old damaged scripts in her head with new positive loving ones, as well as gain confidence in and trust in you. Respect her boundaries and as pointed out in one of the articles, "NO" means [COLOR="Red"]STOP[/COLOR]!
Next, please read the articles listed under the heading "SEX e.g. INTERCOURSE" in the Index.
THE SUPPORT FACTOR--
Tenth, whether a girl or a woman, if you are struggling with the emotional trauma of the past, please do seek counseling from a therapist knowledgeable with the concerns of rape victims. If money is of concern, consult your doctor, a minister, community rape crisis center, or the health department for a referral. Very often there are people who offer their services at a reduced fee or ability to pay.
If you are a girl and need someone to talk with and confide in other than your mother, please consider going to an aunt or grandmother living close by or a trusted adult woman friend who can help you with your questions and concerns. What about your school nurse? Yes or no, you can always visit your local Planned Parenthood on your own. If a relative is available, she can also intercede on your behalf with your parent(s). Never assume that your mother or father is not your confidant.
(RE)ESTABLISHING AN INTIMATE RELATIONSHIP--
As a girl or young woman, many of your questions regarding how to jump start a relationship will probably be answered in one or more of the articles listed in [URL="http://www.sexinfo101.com/forum/index-sexinfo101-board-topics/22777-begi..."]the Index found at the top of the main screen.
I hope this is of help to you and your boyfriend or husband. Got questions? After doing your reading assignments, please do not hesitate to ask.